Total Suspended Solids also known as TSS, are solids in water that can be trapped by a sieve. They may include different material like decomposing plant and animal matter, sewage, and industrial wastes. If TSS solids are high, they may result in stream health problems as well as marine life. TSS monitors are therefore used to measure suspended solids in wastewater.


Importance of TSS monitors

They help to notify bizarre condition thus contribute to maintaining the optimum mixed liquor suspended solids.


How are high concentrations of TSS harmful?

Additionally, high TSS can hinder light from reaching sunken vegetation. Photosynthesis slows just as the amount of light passing through the water decreases. This may result in less dissolved oxygen plants release into the water. If the light is barred from underneath dwelling plants, the plants will discontinue the production of oxygen and will eventually die.

As the plants are decayed, bacteria will use up even additional oxygen from the water resulting in low dissolved oxygen which may in turn result in fish kills. High total suspended solids can also lead to an increase in float up water temperature because the suspended constituents take in heat from sunlight. This may cause a drop in dissolved oxygen levels since warmer waters can hold a smaller amount of DO, and can damage marine life in many different ways.


Example of TSS monitors

ATI’s Model Q46/88 Suspended Solids Monitor

It offers live measuring of suspended solids in a range of water and wastewater applications. A submersible sensor immersed in effluent channel detects particulates in the water by use of an optical backscatter method that permits measurement over a broad range. Results are shown on the Q46 electronic unit mounted close to the detector with several outputs offered as standard.


Factors impacting Total Suspended Solids

Soil Erosion: It occurs as results of disturbance of a land surface such as road and building Construction, logging, forest fires, and mining. Stormwater carries the eroded soil particles to surface water thereby increasing the TSS of the water body.

Urban Runoff: Constituents of soil and remains from streets, commercial, industrial, and inhabited regions can be washed into waterways. Since a significant amount of sidewalk in urban areas, there is reduced infiltration and increased velocity. Storm carries sand drains directly to rivers and creeks.


Final word

The key factor of TSS concentrations is the flow rate of the water body. Quick running water can carry many elements and bigger residue. Heavy rains can pick up clay, silt, sand, and organic particles like leaves from the land and transport it to surface water.


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